Akzo Nobel to Divest Impregnated Papers Business

Akzo Nobel announced today its intention to divest its Impregnated Papers business to Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and Harvest Partners Inc. for EUR 114 million. Akzo Nobel expects the transaction to be concluded by the end of June 2003. "Although Casco Impregnated Papers improved its performance markedly this year, it is our view that this business, with its more peripheral relationship to the coatings businesses, no longer fits within our portfolio from a strategic perspective," said Rudy van der Meer, Member of Akzo Nobel's Board of Management responsible for Coatings. "Divesting this stand-alone activity should be seen against the background of our ambitious growth strategy for our core coatings activities." The management of Casco Impregnated Papers fully supports this initiative. "We want to play an active part in the developments going on in the surface material and woodworking industries," said John Ahlström, General Manager of Impregnated Papers. "To do so, it is desirable to have an owner with a clear focus on growing our business." Casco Impregnated Papers is a major global supplier of surfacing materials for applications in the woodworking, furniture, flooring and automotive industries. The sub-business unit is active in 45 countries and posted total worldwide sales of EUR 265 million in 2002. All 900 employees worldwide will move with the business to the new owners.

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